Tuscan Tomato Bread Soup

Pappa al Pomodoro

In this classic poor man’s soup, day-old bread is cooked together with enough tomato and meat broth to flavor it. This simple combination of basic ingredients is so good that today it can be found at some of the finest restaurants (priced at many times the actual cost of its ingredients, by the way). Pappa also refers to baby food, and this soup makes an excellent meal for the one-year-old crowd (ours certainly approved).

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time from start to finish: 45 minutes


  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 to 20 fresh basil leaves
  • cups homemade meat broth or ½ each beef and chicken bouillon cube dissolved in cups water
  • 4 ounces day-old bread


  1. peel the tomatoes and coarsely chop them.
  2. Lightly crush the garlic cloves and peel them. Put the garlic and olive oil in a small soup pot over medium-high heat and lightly brown the garlic on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the oil and season with salt and pepper. Shred the basil with a knife and add it to the pot. Pour in the broth.
  4. Cut the bread into approximately ¾-inch chunks and add it to the soup. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest, covered, for another 20 minutes. Serve warm.